Politics in India doesn’t have a good reputation amongst people of India itself. Every party has its own unique ideology (if there was one), a specific vote bank, a group of people to lead and a set of business people to back them driven by some form of ties or primordial relations or pure business interest. In spite of these wide variations, all the political parties stood a common ground when it came to one agenda – the money mantra. In some way or the other, most of the political leaders look forward to securing their future and, if possible, for a couple of forthcoming generations, by carefully exploiting the existing system to fit their interest. Out of this quagmire, I have always appreciated one school of these political parties that dint always subscribe to the above mentioned traits generally associated with a political party – The Communist parties. The respect came from the fact that they dint indulge in political vendetta and have always worked for the common man and striving to put forward that agenda to the fore and most importantly not indulging in petty/cheap politics. But in the recent drama relating to Indo US nuke deal and the Communists’ protest that eventually culminated in a confidence motion, all the appreciation I had for the communist parties was eroded primarily due to three moves/statements amidst other ‘non-sense’.
When the debate was about increasing India’s energy security and diversifying the mix, Prakash Karat gave the idea of increasing the state’s investment in coal fired power plants. Even a layman should be able to understand the negatives of increasing the number of coal fired power plants given the environmental impact they would leave behind and if the worst has to happen, the present generation could face the brunt of climate change. More over, a more realistic problem would be the dwindling coal supplies. The contention that the NSG might cut of fuel supplies paralyzing the reactor is put forth against the Indo US nuke deal but there would come a time in the near future when the coal fired power plants wouldn’t have coal to continue operations. Shouldn’t we go towards the future or should we go backwards?
Assuming the moral high ground by the communist parties is the second thing, which dampened the respect I had for them. “We will make it politically impossible for the government to go ahead with the deal”, said Prakash Karat. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t digest such a statement from a political leader of repute. There are many other instances of the assumption of moral high ground like calling for secular parties to unite, tie-up with BSP etc are nothing short of opportunism and it makes them no different from other political parties. Another important issue which irks me a lot is commenting on the deal leading to surrendering the sovereignty of India to a foreign country or letting a foreign country influence India’s policies lest we forget the closeness of the communist parties to the other communist nations of the world and history shows that their position is not entirely unquestionable.
The final blow came in the manner the speaker Somnath Chatterjee was removed from the party membership. They might defend it with enough reasons, the decision may be legally correct conforming to the anti defection laws and in line with the constitution, in accordance to their party rules but no body can deny the basic reason. The base line is that the Party wanted the Speaker to resign from the chair so that he can vote against the government. Again this makes them no different from any other political party. When a person is elected as speaker, he is considered to be above party lines and is assigned responsibility to run the house. Technically the decision of the party may be right but when they speak about morals and ethics not being respected by other parties, they too stand no different.
I dont intend to justify the actions of either UPA or NDA. My simple contention is that in this case, the communist parties behaved so badly and dint stand up to their crediblity.